What is MBA?

The Master of Business Administration is a general management course that is not limited to a specific area, leading to the academic degree MBA (Master of Business Administration). The course should enable the graduate to work as a manager in a company, regardless of the industry. During the course of study, the basic management functions such as accounting, finance, marketing, business management, information management, law and human resources management are taught and at the same time personal development in terms of leadership behavior, decision-making, teamwork, entrepreneurial potential, negotiation skills, communication and presentation techniques is promoted.

The MBA is considered the first internationally accepted international degree. However, the title “Master of Business Administration” may only be used in Germany if it has been properly awarded by a state-recognized university. The number of courses offered worldwide is very large. Accreditation is there to ensure the quality, transparency and comparability of MBA programs .
You can find an overview of the leading MBA programs in the SZ education market on our start page on the MBA education topic .

MBA in Germany

The prerequisite for an MBA degree in Germany is the successful completion of another academic degree and often several years of professional experience. The German MBA degree concludes with a master’s degree and entitles you to a doctorate. In Germany, the MBA is designed as a further education that provides additional qualifications and therefore does not have to be directly related to a bachelor’s degree, as is the case with a consecutive master’s degree. In addition to the general MBA, there are various programs with special subjects and international orientations . A minimum number of points in the GMAT is defined as a requirement for many study programs.

MBA rankings are a frequently used orientation for the selection and evaluation . However, these do not do justice to the large number of courses that offer specific and technically in-depth content and also meet the needs of the students more. The increasingly popular offers for distance learning are not rated separately in most rankings.

MBA international

Most MBA programs in the US are offered by business schools, which are university faculties. They are designed to last two years, as they are designed as a full course of study. The MBA degree in the USA follows on from an economic or other technical college education and includes at least one internship.

In most European countries, mainly private institutions founded on the initiative of business enterprises offer MBA training with a high level of practical relevance and good relationships with potential employers. Here, too, the admission requirement is a university degree or a comparable degree from a technical college or vocational academy and at least two years of professional experience. For many years, Great Britain was the leading provider of MBA programs, also in quantitative terms. Today, the renowned business schools include INSEAD in Fontainebleau, IE in Navarra and IMD in Lausanne.

In Switzerland, the private business school IMD, the International Institute for Management Development, plays a leading role in the MBA programs and offers courses in various areas of management for executives at every career level. The MBA can be completed there in eleven months. The IMD works with over 1000 companies from all over the world. The MBA is not as important in Switzerland as the executive MBA. For employers, the degree is not mandatory for any function and is also not relevant for the salary.

MBA studies in Austria are similar to a basic course in terms of the process, but are much more demanding in terms of content, since strict selection criteria are applied and a high level of education determines the course. A full-time course lasts between one and two years. Most graduates in Austria choose a part-time MBA program that lasts up to three years. Almost every university in Austria now offers an MBA course, and here too there are more and more specializations.

The Executive MBA (EMBA)

The executive MBA ( EMBA ) is aimed at managers, other members of management, department heads and management groups . This special course was developed in addition to the MBA and is geared towards the special needs of the target group. In addition to their work, they use the further training to develop additional career opportunities, mostly for a management position in global companies, with the specialist knowledge and specializations they have acquired.

Historical Consideration

In 1902, the first “Master of Commercial Science” was awarded at American Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. This degree was much more practice-oriented than the very theoretical and scientifically based training at the universities of the time. Within ten years, numerous business schools in the USA – and later also in England – expanded their master’s programs. Global economic competitiveness should be secured with trained executives.

In the 1950s, the orientation of the MBA course changed. In addition to mandatory compulsory courses such as management, financing, marketing and accounting, the focus was on teaching leadership qualities, team building, motivation and the correct use of available resources. This increased the importance of MBA programs.

The MBA programs were heavily criticized in the early 1970s. Business schools have responded by expanding their programs and teaching methods, reaching out to new audiences with students from other disciplines, female students, members of minorities and international graduates.

In the 1980s, there was a heated debate about the tough approach taken by young top managers with no regard for people or the environment. As a result, the business schools are increasingly focusing on the ability to cooperate and social skills in addition to specialist training. Information about the economic, social and political framework was also integrated into the training program, as were team leadership, presentation and negotiation techniques.

The first purely German MBA program was established in Saarland in 1990 at the Europa-Institut. Previously, the MBA in Germany could only be obtained in cooperation with an American or English university.

Due to the rapid increase in MBA programs, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) developed the “European MBA Guidelines” in 1997, in which the qualifications and competencies to be imparted in an MBA program were specified. In 2014, the EFMD revised these guidelines and supplemented them with regard to possible specializations and flexible study formats. Since then, there have been more and more industry-specific orientations, in particular disciplines such as health care, international management, logistics and management, and human resources.

Alphabetical List of Top Business Schools in the United States